Global Gems: Southeast Asia
Deciding how to travel is never easy. But, with 11 countries, planning a trip to Southeast Asia is even less of an easy task.
We have already declared our love for Hop-On Hop-Off passes. You, by the way, should definitely go over our post if you haven’t already. In short: the flexibility, paying before you go, meeting locals as well as like-minded travellers, and having your on-the-go experiences included are what make HoHo passes great.
In Southeast Asia there are so many things to do and see. It can often be especially challenging to decide where to go and how long to stay.
Your HoHo Pass
It is here that the HoHo passes come in handy. You can move at your own pace, pick where to stay and how long to spend in each place. Better yet: transport to your next stop is generally already covered.
HoHo passes are also FLEXIBLE: once you book, you can make as many changes as you want to your itinerary.
Now, the list of places worth visiting in Southeast Asia can seem infinite. Spots range from ancient cities to tropical beaches, as well as incredible scenery including volcanoes and rainforests. It’s impossible to list and see everything in just one trip. Nevertheless, we have a handful of recommended must see’s which should be included in any itinerary.
This is a good time to check out our Starters Guide to backpacking through Southeast Asia too!
Then it’s up to you to find the perfect schedule for your trip. It all depends on the time, budget and special interests you may have.
With good reason, most backpackers choose Bangkok as their expedition starting point. The Thai capital is famous for its temples and palaces, as well as raging nightlife.
The Bangkok Bike Explorer is a perfect way get a glimpse of the lively city streets. Packed with street vendors, shops and multitudes of people rushing to and from their busy work day will be a big part of your Bike Explorer.
Depending on your route, the adventurous visit to Koh Phangan is very much worthwhile. Snorkelling in crystalline waters, flying through the rainforest on a zip-line, and practicing your archery skills are just some of the activities you can enjoy.
Located in northeast Vietnam, Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Bay is known for its emerald waters and hundreds of limestone islands. Unmissable are the junk boat tours and sea kayak expeditions. At the same time, the area is also popular for scuba diving, rock climbing and hiking.
Spend a night (or two!) onboard such a boat and enjoy the scenic karst landscapes of the impressive Bay to the fullest in a 2-day party cruise experience.
While in Vietnam, the capital city of Hanoi is waiting to be explored. It is home to ancient sites, peaceful parks, busy marketplaces and more.
A perfect way to round your stay off is with a real Vietnamese host family, by dining in their home and taking in the daily local food.
Singapore and Malaysia
While a home-cooked meal can also be enjoyed with Singaporean Family, the true foodies cannot miss the Foodie Experience in Kuala Lumpur. Half the fun of this experience is exploring the hidden alleys and shops, trying out things you probably would never have attempted on your own.
Also in Malaysia, a trek to the lush Cameron Highlands Rainforest is well worth doing. From a tea plantation to butterfly gardens, and from a strawberry farm to the Sam Po Buddhist buddhist temple, this expedition has you covered with unforgettable sights and views.
Much of the impressive national heritage of Cambodia’s ancient Khmer Dynasties lie in the middle of the steamy jungle. Angkor Wat is actually one of the largest religious monuments in the world. It also appears on Cambodia’s national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors. A true must see.
Fast forward and in order to understand present-day Cambodia, you really have to understand its recent dark history. While a chilling and distressing experience, a day trip to the Genocide Museum and Killing Fields is essential to gaining this true understanding of Cambodia’s history.
Whichever other destinations you add to your itinerary is entirely up to you. The recommendations above and all be included in your flexible hop-on hop-off pass.
Once you book the pass, you will be able to fully personalise your itinerary. But make no mistake: if you want to get the most out of each country you visit and truly explore the land, meet the locals, learn about the culture and -for the most part- get out of the tourist bubble, then the HOHO pass is way to go.
Ever travelled using Hop-On Hop-Off passes? Let us know about it in the comment section below.
Still not sure how the whole Hop-On Hop-Off pass thing works, read more about it here.